Consumers feel better about housing market as year nears end

Last month, many consumers felt better about recent property data and the housing market as a whole, according to a report from Fannie Mae.

Last month, many consumers felt better about recent property data and the housing market as a whole, according to a report from Fannie Mae.

The improved sentiment from consumers may suggest the market's improvement should continue in the coming months. The government-sponsored enterprise noted in its October 2012 National Housing Survey that consumers feel home prices will rise by 1.7 percent in the next year. Only 10 percent of those polled felt home prices would worsen. This was down from the 23 percent recorded one year earlier.

"This has been a year of steady growth in the percentage of consumers with positive home price expectations," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. "Increasing household formation, encouraged by an improving labor market, is adding additional momentum to the housing recovery and putting upward pressure on rental price expectations. Expected increases in both owning and renting costs may encourage more consumers to buy and add further strength to the housing recovery already under way."

Economic situation worries some consumers
The economic situation still concerned consumers, as only 38 percent noted growth was on the right track, according to the survey. This was three percentage points below September's figure. The level of consumers who felt the economy is heading down a difficult road rose to 56 percent from the previous figure of 53 percent. Still, more than two-fifths of consumers noted their financial situation will remain the same during the next year, while 40 percent indicated they felt it won't likely change at all.

While the report showed consumers have cautious optimism in the market, a report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan noted consumer confidence jumped significantly.

The Surveys of Consumers for October explained that consumer confidence rose to 82.6 in October, which was 5.5 points better than September's level of 78.3. However, it was nearly 36 points higher than the same point last year.

Expectations also rose 7.5 points in October to a level of 79, the report added. This was close to 53 points higher than October 2011. Additionally, the Current Conditions Index improved to 88.1, a 2.8-point jump from September, as well as a 17.6-point rise year-over-year.



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